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Its Cult and Culture

By Katherine M. Ball

112 pp

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About the Book

For centuries the humble bamboo plant has held an esteemed place in Chinese culture, valued not only for its many practical purposes, but also for its beauty and spiritual qualities. The custom of painting bamboo with black ink, known as mo-tsu, has a rich history, and the artist whose works this book contains shows himself a true master of the tradition. Across the ten collotypes which make up the principal illustrations of this book, the reader is presented with the many physical and spiritual states of the bamboo, sometimes heralding the coming dawn, or stirring quietly on a moonlit night.

With her vast knowledge and aesthetic insight derived from years of study of Asian art, Katherine Ball’s poetry and commentary are uniquely suited to accompany such a work. In particular, her poem “Bamboo Symbolic” demonstrates the special qualities of the bamboo, and its exalted place in ancient Chinese culture. Those with an interest in Asian art and aesthetics, but also anyone with an appreciation of the expressive possibilities of tranquil beauty contained in this natural form, will find much to treasure in these images.

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